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Fund launched to train non-construction employees

Words: Laura Edgar

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have launched a £1 million scheme to train non-construction staff.

As a result of the increase in the number of homes built over the past two years, the industry has recruited and trained “tens of thousands of new people”, said the organisations.

Running through 2016, the fund is aimed at ensuring that the non-construction related staff – such as sales, marketing and business development employees – are getting the required level of training to make sure the industry can deliver more “high-quality” homes.

According to the HBF, the fund will help its members to target training employees, graduate scheme trainees, and those on undergraduate placements to make certain that best practice is applied and high standards upheld.

A portion of the fund has been set aside to fund further training for sales and marketing staff, and “driving up” levels of customer service is a particular area of focus for the industry.

Stewart Baseley, HBF executive chairman, said the number people recruited into house building and an “increase in the number of homes being built” made it “imperative” to increase industry capacity.

“The house-building process is an extremely complex one, requiring a great number of people with very different skills. If we are to provide the high-quality homes and the level of customer service today’s new-build customer demands we need to ensure every member of staff in every part of the process is trained to the best possible standard. This scheme we are delighted to launch with CITB will enable HBF members to provide more of their employees with further training and development,” he added.

Steve Radley, director of policy at CITB, said the industry had told the organisation that more needed to be done to address the range of skills challenges in the house building sector.

“Working with HBF, this new pilot fund is a first step in addressing that important issue and testing how this approach could be employed in other parts of construction.

“This £1 million pot of money will boost technical skills in the sector to ensure that we can build the homes the country needs.”